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Subject: Graphics Cards | May 29, 2016 - 05:46 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: msi, GTX 1080, sea hawk, gaming x, armor, Aero, nvidia
Beyond the Founders Edition, MSI has prepared six SKUs of the GTX 1080. These consists of four variants, two of which have an overclocked counterpart to make up the remaining two products. The product stack seems quite interesting, with a steady progression of user needs, but we'll need to wait for price and availability to know for sure.
We'll start at the bottom with the MSI GeForce GTX 1080 AERO 8G and MSI GeForce GTX 1080 AERO 8G OC. These are your typical blower designs that pull air in from within the case, and exhausts it out the back after collecting a bunch of heat from the GPU. It will work, it should be one of the cheapest options for this card, and it will keep the GTX 1080's heat outside of the case. It has a little silver accent on it, too. The non-overclocked version is the standard 1607 MHz / 1733 MHz that NVIDIA advertises, and the OC SKU is a little higher: 1632 MHz / 1771 MHz.
Next up the product stack are the MSI GeForce GTX 1080 ARMOR 8G and MSI GeForce GTX 1080 ARMOR 8G OC versions. This uses MSI's aftermarket, two-fan cooler that should provide much lower temperatures than AERO, but they exhaust back into the case. Personally? I don't really care about that. The only other thing that heats up in my case, to any concerning level at least, is my CPU, and I recently switched that to a closed-loop water cooler anyway. MSI added an extra, six-pin power connector to these cards (totaling 8-pin + 6-pin + slot power = up-to 300W, versus 8-pin + slot power's 225W). The non-overclocked version is NVIDIA's base 1607 MHz / 1733 MHz, but OC brings that up to 1657 MHz / 1797 MHz.
Speaking of closed-loop water coolers... The MSI GeForce GTX 1080 SEA HAWK takes the AERO design, which we mentioned earlier, and puts a Corsair self-contained water cooler inside it, too. Only one SKU of this is available, clocked at 1708 MHz base and 1847 MHz boost, but it should support overclocking fairly easily. That said, unlike other options that add a bonus six-pin connector, the SEA HAWK has just one, eight-pin connector. Good enough for the Founders Edition, but other SKUs (including three of the other cards in this post) suggest that there's a reason to up the power ceiling.
We now get to MSI's top, air-cooled SKU: the MSI GeForce GTX 1080 GAMING X 8G. This one has their new TWIN FROZR VI, which they claim spins quieter and has fans that drag more air to spin slower than previous models. It, as you would assume from reading about ARMOR 8G, has an extra, six-pin power connector to provide more overclocking headroom. It has three modes: Silent, which clocks the card to the standard 1607 MHz / 1733 MHz levels; Gaming, which significantly raises that to 1683 MHz / 1822 MHz; and OC, which bumps that slightly further to 1708 MHz / 1847 MHz.
Currently, no pricing and availability for any of these.
Subject: Graphics Cards | May 28, 2016 - 05:00 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: asus, ROG, strix, GTX 1080, nvidia
The Founders Edition versions of the GTX 1080 went on sale yesterday, but we're beginning to see the third-party variants being announced. In this case, the ASUS ROG Strix is a three-fan design that uses their DirectCU III heatsink. More interestingly, ASUS decided to increase the amount of wattage that this card can accept by adding an extra, six-pin PCIe power connector (totaling 8-pin + 6-pin). A Founders Edition card only requires a single, eight-pin connection over the 75W provided by the PCIe slot itself. This provides an extra 75W of play room for the ROG Strix card, raising the maximum power from 225W to 300W.
Some of this power will be used for its on-card, RGB LED lighting, but I doubt that it was the reason for the extra 75W of headroom. The lights follow the edges of the card, acting like hats and bow-ties to the three fans. (Yes, you will never unsee that now.) The shroud is also modular, and ASUS provides the data for enthusiasts to 3D print their own modifications (albeit their warranty doesn't cover damage caused by this level of customization).
As for the actual performance, the card naturally comes with an overclock out of the box. The default “Gaming Mode” has a 1759 MHz base clock with an 1898 MHz boost. You can flip this into “OC Mode” for a slight, two-digit increase to 1784 MHz base and 1936 MHz boost. It is significantly higher than the Founders Edition, though, which has a base clock of 1607 MHz that boosts to 1733 MHz. The extra power will likely help manual overclocks, but it will come down to “silicon lottery” whether your specific chip was abnormally less influenced by manufacturing defects. We also don't know yet whether the Pascal architecture, and the 16nm process it relies upon, has any physical limits that will increasingly resist overclocks past a certain frequency.
Pricing and availability is not yet announced.
Subject: Graphics Cards | May 27, 2016 - 02:58 PM | Allyn Malventano
Tagged: sli, review, led, HB, gtx, evga, Bridge, ACX 3.0, 3dmark, 1080
...so the time where we manage to get multiple GTX 1080's in the office here would, of course, be when Ryan is on the other side of the planet. We are also missing some other semi-required items, like the new 'SLI HB 'bridge, but we should be able to test on an older LED bridge at 2560x1440 (under the resolution where the newer style is absolutely necessary to avoid a sub-optimal experience). That said, surely the storage guy can squeeze out a quick run of 3DMark to check out the SLI scaling, right?
For this testing, I spent just a few minutes with EVGA's OC Scanner to take advantage of GPU Boost 3.0. I cranked the power limits and fans on both cards, ending up at a stable overclock hovering at right around 2 GHz on the pair. I'm leaving out the details of the second GPU we got in for testing as it may be under NDA and I can't confirm that as all of the people to ask are in an opposite time zone, so I'm leaving out that for now (pfft - it has an aftermarket cooler). Then I simply ran Firestrike (25x14) with SLI disabled:
...and then with it enabled:
That works out to a 92% gain in 3DMark score, with the FPS figures jumping by almost exactly 2x. Now remember, this is by no means a controlled test, and the boss will be cranking out a much more detailed piece with frame rated results galore in the future, but for now I just wanted to get some quick figures out to the masses for consumption and confirmation that 1080 SLI is a doable thing, even on an older bridge.
*edit* here's another teaser:
Aftermarket coolers are a good thing as evidenced by the 47c of that second GPU, but the Founders Edition blower-style cooler is still able to get past 2GHz just fine. Both cards had their fans at max speed in this example.
I was able to confirm we are not under NDA on the additional card we received. Behold:
This is the EVGA Superclocked edition with their ACX 3.0 cooler.
More to follow (yes, again)!
Subject: Storage | May 27, 2016 - 02:42 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: TSV, toshiba, ssd, revodrive, RD400, pcie, ocz, NVMe, M.2, HHHL, 512GB, 2280, 15nm
If you somehow felt that there was a test that Al missed while reviewing the OCZ RD400 NVMe SSD, then you have a chance for a second look. There are several benchmarks which The SSD Review ran which were not covered and they have a different way of displaying data such as latency but the end results are the same, this drive is up there with the Samsung 950 Pro and Intel 750 Series. Read all about it here.
"With specs that rival the Samsung 950 Pro, a capacity point that nips at the heels of the Intel 750's largest model, and competitive MSRPs, the OCZ RD400 is out for blood. Read on to learn more about this latest enthusiast class NVMe SSD and see how it competes with the best of the best!"
Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:
- Toshiba OCZ RD400 NVMe PCIe SSD 512GB @ Kitguru
- OCZ Trion 150 480GB SSD Review @ OCC
- Mushkin Atom 128GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive Review @ NikKTech
- Kingston DataTraveler 4000 G2 64GB Encrypted USB Drive Review @ OCC
- Asustor AS6104T 4-bay NAS @ Kitguru
- Thecus N5810 PRO NAS @ Kitguru
Subject: General Tech | May 27, 2016 - 01:33 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: corsair, lapdog
You may remember the Nerdytec COUCHMASTER Ryan tested back in 2013? Kitguru received a similar device recently, the Corsair Lapdog for use with K70 and K65 keyboards and with enough space on the side for mousing. Unfortunately the setup is only comfortable for right handed users, lefties will have to hope a sinister model comes out. It has a built in 4-powered port USB 3.0 hub, not just for your peripherals as it supports quick charging for your portable devices. Check out their video review to see if you might want to upgrade from what you currently use when sitting on your couch.
"The Corsair Lapdog is grandly described as a ‘Gaming Control Centre’, however that doesn’t explain things very well as Lapdog is unlike anything we have seen before."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- From ATI to AMD back to ATI? A Journey in Futility @ [H]ard|OCP
- Facebook starts tracking non-users to shove ads in their face @ The Inquirer
- HP Inc-eption: Our new 3D printers print themselves, says CEO @ The Register
- Foxconn to obtain 66.67% stake in Canada-based Smart Technologies @ DigiTimes
- Dropbox wants access to PC and Mac kernels despite developer outrage @ The Inquirer
Subject: General Tech | May 26, 2016 - 05:53 PM | Allyn Malventano
Tagged: X99P-SLI, toshiba, revodrive, review, RD400, podcast, pcper, ocz, msi, hardware, gigabyte, fdsoi, computex, amd, AM4, am3, am2, 303, 22nm
PC Perspective Podcast #401 - 05/26/2016
Join us this week as we discuss the Gigabyte X99P-SLI, RevoDrive is back, GPU Drivers, Computex, and more!
The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!
- iTunes - Subscribe to the podcast directly through the Store (audio only)
- Google Play - Subscribe to our audio podcast directly through Google Play!
- RSS - Subscribe through your regular RSS reader (audio only)
- MP3 - Direct download link to the MP3 file
Hosts: Allyn Malventano, Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath, and Sebastian Peak
Week in Review:
News items of interest:
Hardware/Software Picks of the Week
- http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
Subject: General Tech | May 26, 2016 - 05:45 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: input, thermaltake, eSports Level 10M Advanced, gaming mouse
The Thermaltake eSports’ Level 10M gaming mouse is a new version of the original Level 10M, now with a braided USB cable and a thumbrest. The side sports two buttons which function normally, along with a third button that is in fact a 5-axis controller to control mouse features. If you press it in the lights change, left and right will lower or increase the sensitivity and what happens when you push the button up or down will be up to you, as they can be programmed. The overall look of the mouse is unique and the $70 price tag is reasonable, check out Kiguru's full review if you are interested in picking this mouse up.
"Back in 2012, we reviewed Tt eSports’ Level 10M mouse, and now there is an updated ‘Advanced’ edition. With the same striking visuals and customisation options, it will be interesting to see how the Level 10M Advanced fares as a gaming mouse in 2016."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- SpeedLink Ledos Gaming Mouse @ Kitguru
- Gigabyte XM300 @ techPowerUp
- Aorus Thunder K7 Mechanical Keyboard + Macro Keypad @ eTeknix
- QPAD MK-90 Pro Gaming Mechanical Keyboard Review @ NikKTech
- Corsair K70 RGB Mechanical Keyboard Review @ NikKTech
- Corsair K70 RGB RAPIDFIRE Keyboard @ techPowerUp
- Gamdias Hermes Mechanical Keyboard @ Benchmark Reviews
Subject: General Tech | May 26, 2016 - 12:28 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: microsoft, windows 10
It seems that taking inspiration from those nasty popups where the X button does not actually close the window was a bad idea for Redmond and thankfully they have listened to reason. No longer will clicking the X on the Win10 nag screen be construed as accepting the upgrade as long as it is a Roman numeral, but will once again return to the clost command which it represents on any and all other windows. The Inquirer was more than a little miffed about this which is perfectly understandable as this particular step was far beyond the pale, the other attempts to forcibly upgrade ranged from reasonable to annoying but this one was just wrong. Thankfully Microsoft has listened and once again it will go back to asking you for a date repeatedly, until you remove KB2952664, acquiesce to its advances or hold out past July 29th when you will have to pay $120 to hang out with it.
"Microsoft has now responded to "customer feedback" and agreed to change the behaviour of the 'X' button back to the more 'piss off' tone that we all know and love."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- 3D Printing Metal in Mid Air @ Hack a Day
- Pastejack attack turns your clipboard into a threat @ The Register
- Get Ready To Be Bombarded With Ads When Using Google Maps @ Slashdot
- NVIDIA VRWorks 2016 Technology Updates Explained @ TechARP
- Foxconn Cuts 60,000 Jobs, Replaces With Robots @ Slashdot
- Xiaomi Unveils Budget-Friendly Mi Drone, $460 For 4K Or $380 For 1080p @ Slashdot
- Microsoft's Windows Phone folly costs it another billion dollars @ The Register
- 8in disks from the 1970s still power nuclear Armageddon @ The Inquirer
- LinkedIn mass hack reveals ... yup, you're all still crap at passwords @ The Register
- Linksys EA8500 Max-Stream AC2600 MU-MIMO Smart Wi-Fi Router Review @ NikKTech
Subject: Displays | May 25, 2016 - 05:20 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: quantum dots, QD Vision, AOC
AOC is partnering with QD Vision to bring QLED displays to market in the near future. If the term does not seem familiar you can revisit our older coverage, but essentially they are tiny particulates which radiate colour when excited based on size with larger dots fluoresce red, mid-sized dots green and the smallest blue. This property allows a much wider colour gamut to be produced and requires a lot less energy to do so. AOC will be launching a series of PLS/PLS-ADS displays in the near future which will provide up to 98% Adobe RGB colour reproduction, the first generation will be 1080p but expect to see this change as the technology matures. We don't have set dates or prices as of yet but we do have the PR which you can read below.
San Francisco, California – May 25, 2016 – Today AOC, one of the world’s leading monitor brands, announced that their latest quantum dot-based monitors will be available in North America this year. The new monitors, which were introduced in China last month, integrate QD Vision’s Color IQ™ technology to deliver the most vivid color viewing experience commercially available today, enabling 50 percent better color performance than a typical LCD monitor, at a competitive price point.
AOC will sell its 27-inch and quantum dot displays, which deliver 98 percent Adobe RGB color, making them ideal for entertainment, photography and gaming. The new AOC Quantum Dot monitors will be available later this year online and at AOC retailers.
“Given the overwhelming positive feedback we’ve received from customers and reviewers alike, we are thrilled to expand our distribution to North America,” said Mr. Lidong Yan, general manager of monitor BU, OBM China, TPV Group. “QD Vision has helped us deliver the widest color gamut displays available today with their leading-edge quantum dot technology, and we can now bring the latest product innovations and display technology to a broader global audience.”
QD Vision’s Color IQ solution enables the widest, more accurate color gamut across screens by utilizing semiconductor nanocrystals, called quantum dots, to precisely and efficiently convert light emissions and create virtually any color of the visible spectrum. Color IQ Optics lead in green chemistry nano-material innovation and deliver the most brilliant, full gamut color displays, providing a superior viewing experience over any other commercial technology, including OLED, but at a much lower overall cost.
“Quantum dot technology provides far more natural and vivid viewing, and these new monitors from AOC will enhance performance, accuracy and user experience for consumers worldwide,” said John Volkmann, chief marketing officer at QD Vision. “AOC is one of the leaders in delivering the most accurate, wide color gamut experience and by integrating QD Vision’s Color IQ optics, these monitors deliver incredible performance at affordable price points.”
Today, most high-end monitors can only display 95 percent of the Adobe RGB color gamut while many mainstream models are limited to illustrating, at most, 70 percent of the Adobe spectrum. Using QD Vision's Color IQ solution, AOC quantum dot displays deliver nearly 100 percent of the full Adobe RGB spectrum, resulting in remarkably crisp images with vivid, life-like colors, making them ideally suited for binge-watching television shows, online gaming, personal photography or other activities that would benefit from the highest degree of color accuracy and brightness consistency.
The PLS/PLS-ADS wide view angle panel offers perfect image performance and real color uniformity at an extremely large viewing angle of 178°, and flicker-free technology provides critical eye support for photographers who are used to long-time photo editing, providing a more comfortable viewing experience that promotes greater eye health. The AOC 27” quantum dot monitors features 1920 x 1080 resolution, ?E<3 color deviation, 50 million:1 dynamic contrast and support for multiple I/O ports including VGA, DVI-D, HDMI and an audio line output. The series is compatible with Blu-ray players and most gaming consoles, including PS3/PS4 and Xbox 360.
Subject: General Tech | May 25, 2016 - 03:28 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: gaming, goat simulator, #MakeSpaceGreatAgain
That's right, those insanely beautiful bastards over at Coffee Stain Studios did it again, Goat Simulator: Waste of Space will be arriving tomorrow on Steam as DLC, likely at the $5.00 price point the previous GoatZ and Payday DLCs sold for. It features a lightsabre so impressive it will throw Kylo into a sulk, romance plot lines that put Mass Effect to shame, facehugger spitting goats and plenty of self referential humour as well. The trailer is below and you can read a bit more over at Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN.
You are a goat too!
"Then there’s the faux-Schwarzenegger narrator. “Listen to me, you bastards,” he demands. “You will stop at absolutely nothing to make the galaxy great again.” Which evidently involves licking a crew member’s face who has cherry-topped cream cakes covering their nipples."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- The Witcher 3: Blood and Wine launch trailer lands on YouTube @ HEXUS
- The Talos Principle 2 Discreetly Announced @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Stellaris @ Polygon
- Humble Bundle: Grow Home, Gunslinger, Rayman For $1 @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Hands on with Civilization 6 ... as the Emperor of China @ Polygon
- Hands On: Civilization VI Is Exciting, Complex & Aggressive @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Platinum’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Game Released @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
Subject: General Tech, Motherboards, Systems, Shows and Expos | May 25, 2016 - 02:12 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: msi, computex 2016, GS63 Stealth Pro
MSI offered a sneak peek at the lineup you can expect to see them showcase at Computex and the list is quite long, with some interesting new additions.
For laptops you can expect to see the new GS63 Stealth Pro, with a Core i7 6700HQ and GTX970M inside. The cooling system is also new, a five heatpipe system called the Cooler Boost Trinity with Whirlwind Blades pushing hot air out the exhaust ports. We should hear more about what this system actually is during the show.
The GT83 and GT73 Titan SLI laptops are built with VR in mind, as well as supporting output to multiple monitors and 4K resolutions; though perhaps not both at once. The GT83 contains desktop class GTX 980s while the GT73 uses the mobile versions, the GTX 980M or a single desktop GTX 980 if you prefer.
The GS73 focuses on a slimmed down design while still incorporating a GTX970M and the aforementioned Cooler Boost Trinity system. It will also sport a SteelSeries gaming keyboard, an ESS SABRE HiFi headset AMP and Nahimic 2.0 sound system.
Something far more unique is the 'Backpack PC', allowing you to strap a Core i7 and GTX 980 to your back so that you are not tied to a desk when using VR. With that amount of power you will still need mains power as the weight of the battery required to power that system for more than a few minutes would be prohibitive. On the other hand the cables from your VR headset and controllers would be connected to the backpack which would theoretically direct the cables out of your way.
The Aegis Gaming Desktop is a far more familiar desktop machine, though it too offers a nod towards VR usage by locating an HDMI connection at the front of the 19.6L case. It will also have a Dragon Button, reminiscent of the old Turbo button from the original 8086 processor, which will boost your 'speed and performance' by 15%. Likely this is an overclocking preset which one assumes can be enabled on the fly.
The Vortex G65 SLI desktop is a little less plain, a round case which is a mere 6.5L in volume but still contains two GTX 980s and an i7-6700K, with their proprietary Silent Storm Cooling system. MSI continues the pattern of building systems around VR compatibility with the Vortex.
Continuing on to their Cubi 2 Plus, a SFF system powered by a Skylake-S class processor a wee 5x5" mini-STX motherboard. The CPU is not BGA and so can be upgraded and there is enough space in the system for a 2.5" SSD upgrade, albeit just barely.
On to their motherboards, first up is the X99A GAMING PRO CARBON which offers a few new features to tempt users to upgrade. Not only does it have USB Type-C connectors but they are described as being located at the front, presumably on a header. It also sports Audio Boost 3, Turbo M.2 32 Gb/s, SEx ports and Dynamic Mystic Light, an LED systems with software that supports more than 16.8 million colors.
For those more concerned with overclocking than having an impressive light show, the X99A XPOWER GAMING TITANIUM features Military Class 5 components and a specially designed thermal system to ensure a solid overclock. It also has support for U.2 32Gb/s drives.
The last of the trio of motherboards will be the Z170A MPOWER GAMING TITANIUM, similar to the X99A model apart from the socket. You will get all the features of the TITANIUM series for your LGA1151 processors.
Expect to see much more information about these products and others once Computex gets underway.
Subject: Cases and Cooling, Processors | May 25, 2016 - 12:54 PM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: Zen, socket AM3, cpu cooler, amd, AM4
Upgrading to the upcoming Zen processors won't require the purchase of a new cooler or adapter, according to a report from Computer Base (German language).
The AMD Wraith Cooler (image credit: The Tech Report)
Answering a customer question on Facebook, a Thermalright representative responded (translated):
"For all AMD fans, we have good news. As we advance AMD has assured the new AM4 processors and motherboards are put on the usual base-fixing, which is standard for AM2. To follow all the Thermalright coolers are used on the Zen processors without additional accessories!"
This news is hardly surprising considering AMD has used the same format for some time, much as Intel's current CPUs still work with coolers designed for LGA 1156.
Subject: Systems | May 25, 2016 - 02:26 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: UK, SFF, quiet pc, nuc, iris, Intel Skylake, hd graphics
Quiet PC (a UK-based retailer for PCs and components) recently launched a small form factor fanless PC based on Intel’s Skylake NUC platform. The new PC is aptly named the Ultra NUC Pro 6 and combines an Intel Skylake-based Core i5 processor with a fanless chassis from Aleutia (the R50) that results in a quiet and stylish PC.
The understated case is built from a single block of aluminum using a CNC machine and 5-axis drill. It is primarily black although the center of the case reveals bare copper plates (that direct contact the CPU) used help facilitate cooling the 15W TDP Core i5-6260U CPU. The front panel hosts two USB 3.0 ports, an analog audio port, and IR receiver while the rear I/O includes two more USB 3.0 ports, one Wi-Fi antenna connector, Kensington lock, Gigabit Ethernet (RJ45), AC power, and mini DisplayPort 1.2 and HDMI 1.4b video outputs.
Internally, you are able to configure this particular fanless NUC with either a Core i3 clocked at 2.3 GHz or a Core i5 clocked at 1.8 GHz base and up to 2.9 GHz Turbo Boost. Both 14nm chips have a 15W TDP and are dual cores with HyperThreading (2 core / 4 thread), but they differ in the GPU portion. The Core i3 hosts Intel HD Graphics 520 while the Core i5 has Intel’s Iris Graphics 540. Beyond the processor, users can configure the PC with up to 32GB of dual channel DDR4, a single M.2 form factor SSD (up to a 512GB Samsung SM951 M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD), and a pre-installed Wi-Fi module (Intel Wireless-AC 8260).
This new NUC measures 160 x 37 x 110mm and comes with a 2 year warranty. Quiet PC currently offers the base model at £575.83 (~$841.33) sans OS. The model with Core i5 processor, 8GB RAM, 128GB SSD, and Windows 10 Pro is £776.76 which translates to about $1135.23.
That is the major drawback of this nearly half liter PC: the price. Despite it’s neat industrial design, this PC is essentially priced out of the home market perhaps save for certain fanless enthusiasts like our friends at FanlessTech (hehe). Industrial customers that need a decently powerful PC without moving parts and an internal case that can gather dust, metals, wood, and whatever other factory and workshop conditions it might be subjected to would be interested in this however. Quiet PC further indicates that this fanless PC is aimed at marine and healthcare customers. Aleutia claims that at ambient temperatures of 21°C (69.8°F) the PC maxed out at 51°C (123.8°F) under 100% CPU load and the PC can be used in environments with ambient temperatures up to 50°C (122°F).
Do you think our friends on the other side of the pond have a nice quiet PC option or is the price of silence too much?
Also watch: Intel NUC5i5RYK SFF System Review - Broadwell NUC
Subject: General Tech | May 25, 2016 - 01:43 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: crytek, CRYENGINE V, CRYENGINE
So, a few months ago in March, Crytek announced that CRYENGINE V would be licensed under a “pay what you want” business model, which extends down to free -- nothing up front and no royalties. It supports DirectX 12 and a Mono-based framework, which they're calling CE# Framework, that allows gameplay code to be programmed in C#. Since it's done in Mono, it looks like it can be used in all supported platforms, but I could be wrong. While C++ is typically more desirable for AAA-style games, other engines, especially Unity, have attracted a lot of attention with their C# parsers.
The engine doesn't appear to support Vulkan, though, at least not yet.
Hold the phone...
Today's news? The source code is now on GitHub, and not even as a private repository. It's just... there. CRYENGINE V is licensed under a typical EULA, of course, so they impose a few restrictions on how it can be used. Content must not be sexual explicit, vulgar, or “in a reasonable person's view, objectionable.” I expect that this will not be enforced too strictly in terms of violence and cursing, but it differs from, say, Unreal Engine 4, which officially permits Adult content (although they'll occasionally ask to have their trademarks removed, so their logos do not appear to be endorsements).
Crytek also prevents their engine from being used in simulation, science, and architecture. I assume those are intended to be pushed into a separate licensing structure. It would seem silly for them to just outright ban those applications.
Subject: Graphics Cards | May 24, 2016 - 09:46 PM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: vulkan, radeon, overwatch, graphics driver, Crimson Edition 16.5.3, crimson, amd
AMD has released new drivers for Overwatch (and more) with Radeon Software Crimson Edition 16.5.3.
"Radeon Software Crimson Edition is AMD's revolutionary new graphics software that delivers redesigned functionality, supercharged graphics performance, remarkable new features, and innovation that redefines the overall user experience. Every Radeon Software release strives to deliver new features, better performance and stability improvements."
AMD lists these highlights for Radeon Software Crimson Edition 16.5.3:
- Total War: Warhammer
- Dota 2 (with Vulkan API)
New AMD Crossfire profile available for:
- Total War: Warhammer
The driver is available from AMD from the following direct links:
- AMD Radeon Software Crimson Edition 16.5.3 Driver for Windows® 10, Windows 8.1 & Windows 7 64-bit
- AMD Radeon Software Crimson Edition 16.5.3 Driver for Windows® 10, Windows 8.1 & Windows 7 32-bit
The full release notes with fixed/known issues is available at the source link here.
Subject: Graphics Cards | May 24, 2016 - 06:36 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: nvidia, graphics drivers
Yesterday, NVIDIA has released WHQL-certified drivers to align with the release of Overwatch. This version, 368.22, is the first public release of the 367 branch. Pascal is not listed in the documentation as a supported product, so it's unclear whether this will be the launch driver for it. The GTX 1080 comes out on Friday, but two drivers in a week would not be unprecedented for NVIDIA.
While NVIDIA has not communicated this too well, 368.22 will not install on Windows Vista. If you are still using that operating system, then you will not be able to upgrade your graphics drivers past 365.19. 367-branch (and later) drivers will required Windows 7 and up.
Before I continue, I should note that I've experienced so issues getting these drivers to install through GeForce Experience. Long story short, it took two attempts (with a clean install each time) to end up with a successful boot into 368.22. I didn't try the standalone installer that you can download from NVIDIA's website. If the second attempt using GeForce Experience failed, then I would have. That said, after I installed it, it seemed to work out well for me with my GTX 670.
While NVIDIA is a bit behind on documentation, the driver also rolls in other fixes. There were some GPU compute developers who had crashes and other failures in certain OpenCL and CUDA applications, which are now compatible with 368.22. I've also noticed that my taskbar hasn't been sliding around on its own anymore, but I've only been using the driver for a handful of hours.
You can get GeForce 368.22 drivers from GeForce Experience, but you might want to download the standalone installer (or skip a version or two if everything works fine).
Subject: General Tech | May 24, 2016 - 01:46 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: asus, gigabyte
According to the information that DigiTimes was able to garner, only Asustek Computer and Gigabyte Technology will see their shipment of motherboards over this first half of the year either remain the same as last year or perhaps experience a small growth. As neither are expected to break 20 million units this is not great news but is certainly better than the news ASRock, MSI, ECS and Biostar are expecting. The lack of competition in the CPU/APU market is spilling over to motherboard manufacturers as customers are not immediately upgrading to the new platforms but are instead choosing premedical upgrades. The next few quarters are going to be interesting as we see what strategies motherboard manufacturers adopt to retain sales. New boards based on the Intel 200 series chipset will not likely be a factor until the last quarter of this year, at the earliest.
"The sources expect Asustek and Gigabyte's motherboard shipments in 2016 to stay at the same level in 2015 and neither of them is able to break 20 million units. Since overall demand continues shrinking, the top-2 players are likely to continue taking market share from lower-tier players."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Phase-change chalcogenides for neuronal computing @ Nanotechweb
- Great, IBM has had a PCM breakthrough. Who exactly is going to manufacture? @ The Register
- Got a Fitbit? Thought you were achieving your goals? Better read this @ The Register
- Updategate: Microsoft uses technique to lure you to Windows 10 from the 'X' button @ The Inquirer
- Researchers Set World Record Wireless Data Transmission Rate of 6 GB/Sec Over 37 KM @ Slashdot
- Toshiba adds 8TB model to high-end X300 hard drive range @ The Inquirer
- Amazon Stops Giving Refunds When an Item's Price Drops After You Purchase It @ Slashdot
Subject: Cases and Cooling | May 23, 2016 - 11:50 AM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: tempered glass, steel, SECC, mid-tower, In Win 303, in win, enclosure, case, atx case
In Win's 303 enclosure has been released, and this mid-tower offers a very clean, simple look, and provides the option of a tempered glass side panel to show off your build.
"The IN WIN team presents the 303, a simple, yet elegant computer chassis crafted from steel and tempered glass. The distinctively clean front panel is complemented with a bright LED design to balance the overall appearance.
The IN WIN logo is highlighted “Neon” as well as the lucent stripped I/O front panel. These gorgeous LEDs also have the purpose of indicating when the PC is activated."
The In Win 303 is available with a white or black finish
The 303 is constructed primarily of SECC (electrogalvanized steel), which should help them keep costs down versus aluminum designs at the expense of some added weight.
The 303 offers buyers a choice between a pair of side panel styles, with both tempered glass and solid aluminum options. As to the former, the company states you are "able to remove the beautiful 3mm tempered glass side panel by just pressing the handle," while the aluminum panel is affixed with thumbscrews.
In Win 303 interior
While officially released with a product page up on In Win's site, actual retail availability in the U.S. might have to wait until after Computex, as listings have yet to appear on Newegg or Amazon for the new 303 (at time of publication).
Subject: General Tech | May 20, 2016 - 12:29 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
The Inquirer put together a list of topics that received little to no coverage during the Google I/O keynote, though why Daydream VR was included is hard to say as it was all over the news yesterday. The Google Play store coming to Chromebooks and Android Pay arriving in the UK were also services we knew about but which did not get a mention. On the other hand, Google's Tensor Processing Unit really should have received more emphasis as it is rather impressive. If AMD, NVIDIA and Intel were hoping to get a contract from Google to power the next generation of Deep Dream or Google Assistant then they are out of luck. Take a peek at the other topics The Inq wanted to hear more about here.
"As such, here's the INQ top 10 announcements that got bumped from the I/O keynote to a footnote or out of the main speech altogether."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Google Chrome deletes Backspace @ The Register
- World goes SIM-free, leaving Sony and HTC trailing behind @ The Register
- It’s Time For Direct Metal 3D-Printing @ Hack a Day
- Android Lollipop sucks at security, says researcher @ The Register
- Another reason to hate videoconferences: lousy software security @ The Register
- TSST has stopped manufacturing optical drives @ Kitguru
- ARM buys IoT's camera crew, Eyes of Things biz Apical @ The Register
- Snow Software weighs in as readers continue to slam vendors for licensing problems @ The Inquirer
- Google patents sticky tech to prevent self-driving cars squashing pedestrians @ The Register
- Asus PL-N12 WiFi HomePlug AV500 Powerline Adapter Kit @ Kitguru
Subject: Mobile | May 19, 2016 - 03:12 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: msi, origin, eurocom, gaming laptop, GTX 980M
You have likely run into the 17.3" MSI GT72S Dominator Pro Dragon Edition but have you seen either the Origin EON17-SLX or Eurocom SKY X9 gaming laptop. The Eurocom especially is rather impressive, a 4K panel powered by two GTX 980Ms in SLI, the other two have only a single GPU, though it is the desktop version of the GTX 980.
The least expensive of these laptops is $2899, the most expensive is $4837. Take a look at how these beasts perform over at Hardware Canucks.
"Gaming performance of high end gaming notebooks is quickly closing the gap with desktops. In this roundup we look at over $11,000 worth of desktop replacement options from MSI, Origin and Eurocom."
Here are some more Mobile articles from around the web:
More Mobile Articles
- Nextbook Flexx 10 2 in 1 Review @ TechwareLabs
- Lenovo YOGA 900s First Look @ Tech ARP
- Jide Technology Remix Mini @ Kitguru
- Samsung Galaxy S7 edge @ Tech ARP
- LG G5 @ The Inquirer